Chocolate Cake with Warm Butter Sauce is the ultimate indulgence!
I had a birthday this week. If that day was any indication of the year to come, it’s about to be the year of butter.
I ate so much butter that day it was alarming. Butter on lefse, butter on pasta, butter on butter, and butter on cake. I posted this recipe for butter sauce early in my blogging days, so there’s a chance it slipped past your sights. I figured it was time to give it a proper showing with updated pictures and let you know that despite my best attempts at a whole foods lifestyle I still dive into this saucy treat once every three years or so. Turns out it’s still hard to photograph wet cake but it’s easy as pie to eat.
I mostly wanted to have this Chocolate Cake with Warm Butter Sauce for my birthday because I was missing my dad. Every day there is some small thing that reminds me of him, especially holidays. This was one of our favorite cakes to enjoy together. The recipe came from his mom, and was a birthday staple in my youth.
The combination of cake and butter sauce is both decadent and awful in that it will ruin all other cakes for you. It’s easy and fancy while still being messy and old school. I’ve updated the recipe for the cake itself to make a slightly drier (although I wouldn’t call it altogether dry), denser cake. This makes it ideal for soaking up lots of that luscious sauce.
I kept the cake in tact for a nice pretty picture, but I’ll be honest with you. When I eat this I pretty much cut a piece of cake and then destroy it. Cut it in fourths or slice it in half horizontally and spread it out so every last crumb is soaking up sauce. The cake is really just a vehicle for the sauce.
The cake was also an old recipe of my grandma’s. It called to be baked in three 8 inch cake pans, which I did. If you want to throw it in a 9×13 I’m sure you would survive, you’ll just have to adjust the baking time and keep an eye on it. I do like how low the cake is when baked in three pans. It means less cutting and more soaking when it comes to dousing it in sauce.
Speaking of butter sauce, you want to bring it just shy of boiling. I like it super hot, but if it boils you’ll end up with a bit of a separated mess. You only want to pour the sauce on a serving at a time or you’ll have to eat the entire cake. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
How many times can I say sauce in one post? Not enough. Sauce. Get it?? Not enough sauce. Sauce.
Chocolate Cake with Warm Butter Sauce
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk, (I placed 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a measuring cup and filled it to 1 cup with milk, then let sit for a few minutes)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat three 8 inch cake pans with shortening and dust with flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add the eggs.
- Add vanilla extract to the milk. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour alternately with the milk, pulsing the mixer to avoid ingredients splashing out. You will start with flour and end with flour, adding flour four times and milk three times. Add the boiling water all at once and pulse until combined.
- Divide the batter between the three pans, smooth it out, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Move to a cooling rack to cool.
- To make the butter sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and melt, stirring, over medium heat. Heat until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot sauce over slices of chocolate cake and serve.